When you think of directors who might be a natural fit to bring works by acclaimed American authors to the screen, Fisher Stevens may not top the list. In fact, you may not know he’s a director at all. But while many will still associate him with the Short Circuit films or Lost, he’s been steadily carving out a successful (and Oscar-winning, for dolphin doc The Cove) career as a producer for the last decade. He’s currently making the movie to directing with crime comedy Stand Up Guys and will next tackle an adaptation of Philip Roth’s American Pastoral.
Published in 1997, Roth’s novel follows Seymour “Swede” Levov, a legendary high school athlete who grows up to marry a former beauty queen and inherit his father’s business. Swede’s seemingly perfect life shatters when his daughter rebels by becoming a revolutionary and commits a savage act of political terrorism during the Vietnam War.
The tome is actually the first part of a trilogy, continued in I Married A Communist and The Human Stain, which was brought to the screen in 2003. John Romano, who worked on The Lincoln Lawyer, has boiled the book down into a script.
No casting has been announced for Pastoral just yet, but Lakeshore Entertainment and Sydney Kimmel Entertainment are working with Fisher to get the film in motion once he’s finished shooting Stand Up Guys, which features Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin (which lends that much more credence to Stevens’ fledgling directing career, since his first film doesn’t just feature a group of unknown friends starring in a romantic comedy in someone’s back garden). American Pastoral should begin filming next year.